Ask a Question forum: Plant Reference Book?

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Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Composter Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Amaryllis
Plumerias Ponds Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers hot summers Tropicals Garden Ideas: Master Level
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ShadyGreenThumb
Sep 4, 2013 3:48 PM CST
Do you have a source for a good, pocket book-size plant name reference book for in the "field"? I have one that I use to ID wild birds and it is fairly complete. While that is not possible with plants as new varieties come out all the time, is there a reference book that you find the most complete and a book source that you like when the internet is not available?
Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
[Last edited by ShadyGreenThumb - Sep 4, 2013 3:59 PM (+)]
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Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
Herbs Region: Georgia Region: United States of America Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Composter
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greene
Sep 4, 2013 4:21 PM CST
I have the National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Wildflowers (Easter Region) which is adequate for my needs.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Composter Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Amaryllis
Plumerias Ponds Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers hot summers Tropicals Garden Ideas: Master Level
Image
ShadyGreenThumb
Sep 4, 2013 4:47 PM CST
Thanks, Greene. I guess "field" is the wrong choice of words. I would like to have a book to ID my yard plants, as well as have one to take a long to various arboretums and nurseries.
Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
Herbs Region: Georgia Region: United States of America Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Composter
Image
greene
Sep 4, 2013 6:33 PM CST
Guess the smart phone is the current way to go. Maybe they have an app for that.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Cindi
Wichita, Kansas (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member Plant and/or Seed Trader Permaculture Roses Ponds Peonies
Lilies Irises Daylilies Dog Lover Beekeeper Garden Ideas: Master Level
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CindiKS
Sep 4, 2013 7:17 PM CST
Guess it all depends on how big the pocketbook is! I have one purse that could hold Michael Dirr's Manual of Woody Landscape Plants!

Probably what will help you most is something like Simon & Schuster's Guide to Garden Flowers
http://www.amazon.com/Schusters-Garden-Flowers-Nature-Series...
(sorry about the long url) or maybe this one:
http://www.amazon.com/Simon-Schusters-Guide-Plants-Flowers/d... which may be more comprehensive in a concise package.
These are the same size as their insect guides--too big for a pocket, but good for a purse. 4" x 7" x 1 1/2" thick.
Or, try: The Flower Expert by D. G Hessayon

http://www.amazon.com/Flower-Expert-D-G-Hessayon/dp/B007SRWF...

There's a whole series, and they are all a good size to carry to a garden.
All of these have good photos and drawings.

My problem with using the smart phone in the garden is, I can't read the screen in full sunlight. Maybe the next upgrade will have an improvement on that... Rolling my eyes.
Hope that helps!
Remember that children, marriages, and flower gardens reflect the kind of care they get.
H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
Name: Jay
Nederland, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Region: Gulf Coast Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the first seed swap I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Tip Photographer Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Hibiscus
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Horntoad
Sep 4, 2013 9:29 PM CST

Wildflowers of Houston and Southeast Texas by John and ,Gloria Tveten, is a good book for local wildflowers.
wildflowersoftexas.com
texasnatureonline.com


Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Composter Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Amaryllis
Plumerias Ponds Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers hot summers Tropicals Garden Ideas: Master Level
Image
ShadyGreenThumb
Sep 5, 2013 1:45 PM CST
I have a big project of ID-ing all my plants. I don't have access to the internet at work all the time, well, as long as I am supposed to be working. Rolling on the floor laughing My memory is not always up to par on certain days. OK, OK, on most days! I would like to get the names of my plants recorded while I have half a mind. The books you recommended are on order from Amazon, Cindi. Thanks for that. I was able to get used ones 4/$1.7 so basically I paid the postage.
Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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Bonehead
Sep 5, 2013 6:58 PM CST
Ah, Cheryl, that can be a huge project - good winter project. I initially just willy-nilly plopped things into the ground, then at some point started keeping track of what/where, which grew over the years, and now have a pretty extensive database of my own (26 Word files, one for each alpha, with photos, location, and where I purchased, etc.). I then utilized the "My List" feature on this site, and so far have been very pleased with that. Not sure if I'm willing to ditch my personal database although double-cooking the books is a mite time consuming. @Dave is there a way to print our own personal lists from ATP, complete with the thumbnail and comments section? I haven't explored this on site, but that would be a great feature for me. I usually print a hard copy of my database annually which I keep in a looseleaf binder to reference during the growing season, making hand notes of changes, deaths, new tips, problems, etc. which I then transfer to the computer as I have time. I did notice that the comment section in My List appears to be specific to my plants and doesn't cross over as a general comment (who cares if I got the plant from my neighbor and it's in the west barn bed...). I really like having ready access to much better photographs as well as more complete care available at ATP. Winter project...
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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dave
Sep 5, 2013 7:13 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

Yes there is a print friendly version of your list. Works great.
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Image
Bonehead
Sep 5, 2013 7:15 PM CST
Thanks, I will play with that. It may well be I don't need to be duplicating efforts.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Cindi
Wichita, Kansas (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member Plant and/or Seed Trader Permaculture Roses Ponds Peonies
Lilies Irises Daylilies Dog Lover Beekeeper Garden Ideas: Master Level
Image
CindiKS
Sep 5, 2013 8:21 PM CST
Cheryl, if you get stuck, or before you get stuck, just take a photo of your unknown plant and post it here on the plant I.D. forum! There's a lot of us who enjoy identifying plants.
( Here's a secret: shhh...I used to work as an estate gardener, and people would call me to come identify plants in their yards. Some had moved into houses with existing landscapes, and some had gardeners who planted unusual plants. Sometimes I was stumped, and had to consult my books. The cool thing was, I got PAID to do this! There's nothing better than spending time doing what you love, and getting paid for it. )
And here's another bit of happy news...today I went to a native plant sale, and they had a room full of gardening books for sale! Suggested donation was $5 each! I limited myself to just 6, and one was SIGNED by Penelope Hobhouse! Oh, happy day! Hurray! Lovey dubby

@Rick Corey-- Group hug Thank you
Remember that children, marriages, and flower gardens reflect the kind of care they get.
H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Sep 6, 2013 1:23 PM CST
@Cindi, book recommendations are precious indeed!

That's half the value of most college courses: pointing out what books to read, in what order, for specific interests.

Unfortunately, life is too short and our budgets are too limited to just ready EVERYthing!

I was thinking of suggesting condensing some of the recommended book titles into a "sticky", but in which forum? Maybe the "Recommendations" page could have a subsection for "Recommended Books" separate from "Recommended Companies". What do you think, @Dave?

After the list of Recommended Books got long enough, it might benefit from splitting into sections. Or maybe add searchable tags from the beginning, like "soil improvement", "plant guides", "perennials", "annuals", "vegetables", "farming", "livestock", "landscape design", etc.

Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Image
dave
Sep 6, 2013 2:25 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

I like the idea, Rick and we've been throwing around ideas for improving the Recommendations feature.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Sep 6, 2013 5:33 PM CST
Thanks!

I don't know what mechanism would promote the following, other than "energetic members". But I seems to me that many threads contain great information scattered through them, (not always related to the thread title), that could be extracted and condensed into a one-post Sticky or a short Idea. One one or two entries in a Recommendations database or thread.

P.S. Some forums have multiple Sticky threads that might benefit from being condensed each into one post, then perhaps combined into one Sticky "Reference Thread".



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